The Washburn Guitars Forum

Washburn Bluegrass Instruments => Post your thoughts on Banjos & Mandolins => Topic started by: pigpen on July 05, 2006, 05:58:03 PM

Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: pigpen on July 05, 2006, 05:58:03 PM
I am an avid fan of Washburn acoustic gits, love mine to death. I am currently taking bluegrass lessons from a gentleman who also teaches banjo. I am considering purchasing a banjo and would like to keep my faith with Washburn, any suggestions for a begginer?
Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: wingsdad on July 05, 2006, 11:35:35 PM
I took up the banjo 2 years ago, so I'm still a beginner. I started with the Washburn B9. For the same price, the Oscar Schmidt OB5 is basically the same, only a bit dressier. These are starter banjos, in that they have cast aluminum tone rings, 30 tension brackets and 'guitar style' tuners. The B9 plays just fine. As I got more into it and got a few pointers, and decided to commit to really learning to play, I decided to trade up to a bell brass tone ring model with banjo peg tuners. (you can reach behind the head to tune, and that's handy). The big diff: bell brass is louder and gives that'ringing' tone, while aluminum is not nearly as loud and kind of 'dull' by comparison. Also, the brass weighs a ton...actually, the Washburn B16 I went for weighs 18 lbs.!

The B14 is not as fancy as the B16, has a mahogany resonator, not as bright and loud as the maple reso of the B16, but it's an excellent instrument. I went over the top to the B16 because I got a great price/deal on it from my dealer. I'm learning, though, motivated by the great sound and that I need to 'earn my keep' to deserve it.'d be OK to start with the B9 (or the Schmidt OB5), investing about $200...if you get the bug and get into it, as I did, you can move up. The Washburn will hold a higher resale/trade value than the Schmidt.
Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: pigpen on July 08, 2006, 03:21:19 PM
Thanks wingsdad, very useful information. You really opened my eyes to a lot of stuff that I just did not know and I'm sure I'll follow your advice, it sounds like the right path to go. Again thanks. So is there not a lot of folks that read in this forum or what? [?][:)][:D][;)]
Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: wingsdad on July 08, 2006, 05:20:56 PM
'Pen, I think Washburn's banjos & mandos are as underrated as their guitars, maybe even more so,and so, very few pickers hangin' around here. [:(]

I'll just add another thing I learned: just as with a guitar, a proper setup makes a world of difference. Banjos are practically a mechanical instrument. My Washburn dealer 'took me to school'and had me watch him set it up. The tension of the head will effect the 'tune' of the 'ring'-- lively vs. 'dead'. You go around like tightening the lugs on a car wheel -- opposite lugs, back & forth. The tailpiece has tension adjustments, too. Finally, there's the movable bridge: once setup & intonated correctly, mark the position in pencil on the head.
Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: Dreadman on August 15, 2006, 11:52:47 PM
Hey, I know you guys! LOL I didn't know you hung out in here. I just put up a topic looking for advice on 6 string banjos Any advice?

Wings - Reading what you wrote here taught me more about banjos than I ever knew. Thanks. I'm going to be hounding ya now. [:D]

Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: Cryo on May 25, 2011, 08:36:58 PM
The 5 string pickers are mostly over at  I have a B16 also and am very pleased with it.  It is something that I can grow with and will stand up to other banjos in the jams.

If you do get to banjohangout, be sure to join the Washburn Banjo Group.  The banjos made by George Washburn have history.
Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: Junior88 on May 25, 2011, 09:43:38 PM
Only about 4 years late [:D]
Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: Cryo on May 26, 2011, 04:31:53 AM
I know.  This forum rarely brings up banjos.  I wonder how many B16s are sold each year?  My serial number is ....017 .
Title: Banjo anybody?
Post by: joggie on October 31, 2011, 01:42:52 PM
Hi, What do you think of the Washburn B17 banjo?